Wednesday, July 11, 2012


When I heard they were going to do another Spider-Man movie… I was like yeah, whatever? The novelty of Spider-Man, had kinda worn off of me, especially after seeing the shock and awe of The Avengers movie a couple weeks earlier and now the almost mandatory viewing in the future of Christopher Nolan’s final chapter of the Batman trilogy… frankly, I though I was sick of comic book movies… but as I started to see the new Spider-Man trailers… like Peter Parker… I felt like I was bitten, by the bug… or should I say, Spider?  After all, Spider-Man and I, are roughly about the same age, so we kinda grew up together… so yes, I went out of loyalty, but came out of the theater very surprised.

It’s been about five years since the last Sam Raimi, Spider-Man flick (they were up to three) that featured Tobey Maguire as the young misunderstood web-slinging superhero. As I seem to recall, Sony Pictures (Spider-Man's Studio) had wanted Raimi to rush-out Spider-Man IV. Both Raimi and Maguire said, not gonna happen, and they parted ways. Well, it kinda turned out to be a good thing; I’m really surprised to say (and yes, I enjoyed the previous Spider-Man films.)  But did Spider-Man, need a reboot so quickly? Hell, I don’t know? How long was it between Tim Burton’s Batman films, and Christopher Nolan’s? Not sure? But it was longer then the Spider-Man turnaround, I know.

Well, 500 Days of Summer, director Marc Webb gets a handle on things quite well in the new movie (from a terrific script by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves… who knows who wrote what? They’re all credited!) Yes, we go through the same Spider-Man origins all over again, with a new Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Sally Fields and Martin Sheen) but it’s not as painful and boring to revisit again as I thought. Partly because of the casting. Although it’s hard to forget the late Cliff Robertson, as Uncle Ben in the original Rami films, Sheen’s Uncle Ben, is a bit more vibrant and seems to have more to do in the new film… and they’re a new plot twist that concerns Peter Parker’s late parents. And what about the new Spider-Man, who dares fill Tobey Maguire’s leotard? Well this English kid, Andrew Garfield (who seriously reminds me of a young Anthony Perkins… yes, there’s a little Norman Bates vibe goin' on.) this Garfield, , as both high school outcast Peter Parker and his alter ego Spider-Man, really does (yes) an amazing job… sorry, Tobester.

I love how this film features some of those iconic Spider-Man poses from the comics!
Also in the film is the "new" scratchy voiced blonde “It Girl" of the moment, Emma Stone (Scarlett Johansson watch your back!) as Garfield’s love interest Gwen Stacy … and she does have something? I’ll tell ya… she gives “the girlfriend” role a presence that little something extra. But for my money, the genius casting in this flick is surprisingly; Dennis Leary, as Captain Stacy. He plays, Emma Stone’s no nonsense, N.Y. cop father (but with the exception of the soft spot he carries for his overachieving daughter, Stone.) Leary almost steals the show in this Richard Widmark prototype kinda gruff cop role. And then let’s not forget the villain. This film is wise enough to steer clear (at least in this outing) to give Spider-Man a new “classic” villain to tangle with, in the guise of “The Lizard" (I think his name sez it all?) played by Rhys Ifans (He’s another, Brit… I'm not too familiar with him?… in fact, I don’t think I know him at all? But I'm sure he's done great stuff? Since he's in the mega-budget movie! And Ifans is really good in the movie, as the semi-mad scientist who tests (here we go again!) an experimental serum on himself... with disastrous and scaly results! And keep a look out for perhaps the best, Stan “The Man” Lee cameo ever in the new Spider-Man.

Dennis Leary's a hands on police captain.

A couple other quick things I really dug in this flick, was that it really did have a lot of the little elements that I used to love as a kid in the old Spider-Man comics, from his smart alack sense of humor, to the fact that he made his own web-shooters in this flick (a big bone of contention to fans of the Raimi Spider-Man films, where Maguire had organic webs all of a sudden?) And I just liked the basic look of the film, it truly incorporated a many of the icon “Spidey” comic poses that the film really worked for me (no, I did not want to see it in 3-D.) 
Hey! Did The Hunger Games have a nifty collectors cup? I didn't think so!
It’s funny, in the old comic books, Spider-Man would always grouse about not getting the respect that his flashy counterparts (like The Avengers) would receive from the press and the public… the new Spider-Man might not make as much money as new The Avengers movie? But, “Spidey’s” movie is doing pretty damn good at the box-office and they’re only one of him, and there are six Avengers! As Telly Savalas might say; who loves ya Spidey-baby? I just hope they title the next movie; Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and they'll finally cast R.Lee Ermey as J. Jonah Jameson... okay, I can dream, can't I?

R. Lee Ermey, still should play, J. Jonah Jameson, I think!